Research on promising new banana selections currently covers a total of seven trials.
In the first trial, Grande Naine ex.
Central America, Grande Naine Israel, Chinese Cavendish, GN60 (Novaria), GCTCV 44 A and Goldfinger are currently being compared over the P and R1 cycles in Burgershall (cool subtropics). Goldfinger is being evaluated in three other subtropical climates.
In two new cultivar trials at Burgershall and Komatipoort (hot subtropics), Buena Vista, High Noon, PK3 and FHIA 18 are being compared with Grande Naine Israel and Williams in the P cycle.
In a selection trial at Burgershall, various new local and international selections are being compared with each other.
Preliminary results in Burgershall showed that Grande Naine Israel has the highest average P +R1 yield (58.6 t/ha/year), followed by Grande Naine ex.
Central America (54 t/ha/year) and Chinese Cavendish (53 t/ha/year). Grande Naine Israel (49 t/ha/year and 61 t/ha/year) was also the highest yielder in the two more-recent cultivar trials conducted at Burgershall and Komatipoort respectively, during the P cycle.
Short cultivars such as Buena Vista and Dwarf Cavendish showed yield reductions of up to 11% during the P cycle.
Goldfinger showed up to 35% yield reduction during the P cycle in the two major banana growing areas, while in locations with frost and poor irrigation water quality, Goldfinger showed 15% higher yields.
In Komatipoort, High Noon (49 t/ha/year) performed better than Goldfinger (45 t/ha/year), but High Noon was still 18% lower yielding than Grande Naine Israel.
Results of the selection trial showed Lancefield (a Dwarf Cavendish selection) and KBC 2 (a Chinese Cavendish selection) to have bunch mass and yield equal to Grande Naine Israel and RS3 and RSS3 (Williams selections) had yields up to 12 % higher than Grande Naine Israel.
FHIA 17 outperformed Grande Naine Israel by 25% (59 t/ha/year compared with 47 t/ha/year).